Eight and a half years. That’s how long I’ve been writing this blog. Three hundred and thirty posts. But in the past year I’ve written only six. Why is that? The kids are older, I have more time to myself, I am no longer perpetually exhausted… so what’s the deal?
Maybe part of it IS because the kids are older. When they were babies, or even preschoolers, it was cute and funny and helpful to go on and on about their lives. Family loved hearing the minutia, other moms commiserated, friends understood better why we seemed to have disappeared. But when Violet and Graham reached grade school, something happened. It’s not that I suddenly started thinking about them as little people, but that I started thinking about them as their own little people. As in, not really mine. As in, what right do I have to bundle them up into sentences and send them out into the internet for others to make assumptions? And, more practically, maybe I should be thinking about their online presence in the future. How will the pronouncements I make about their personalities inform an admissions officer, or recruiter, or partner? Not to mention the conclusions my kids will draw about themselves, about me, and about our relationships when they finally read this blog and realize I’ve been detailing the ups and downs of their lives for the world to see.
On the other hand, it makes me sad to think of holding back. Sure, I have photos. Lots of photos. But they don’t exactly tell the whole story. Who whips out the camera during an argument? How can a photograph document the true amount of school angst or sibling strife? Browse my Flickr stream and our lives seem perpetually blissful. But I don’t want a curated, smiling, sanitized version of my life to look back on. I really do want to remember the struggle, the mess, the uncertainty, the worry. I also don’t want my kids to think that they were perfect angels… or perfect terrors.
So how do I walk this line? How do I scratch this archivist itch in a way that is respectful to our family’s future selves but that remains meaningful?
I reviewed my first blog post to try to find the answer. And I think the last few sentences give me at least a starting point: “So, maybe the most important reason I’ve started this blog is that it’s about ME. Me me me me. Oh, and Violet.”
Oh right! This is my blog! (Now here is where I fall into cliché territory, but bear with me.) This angst over what direction my blog should take parallels my real life. What should I do now that I’m slowly backing out of a decade focused on kids? Maybe it’s time to circle back around to writing for the sake of writing, documenting, and trying to organize the chaos in my brain. Oh, I’m sure I’ll write about family too, but I’ll tread lightly and see how that works out. I understand that this will not be as exciting to some as Las Aventuras Fantásticas de los Niños de los Liffords, but that’s okay. They’re writing their own stories now. Just ask them.